If someone asked you, “What are humans made of?” what would you say? We have heads and shoulders, knees and toes. We have eyes and ears and mouths and noses. We have muscles (some of us have bigger ones than others). There’s skin to cover our bodies, hair to cover our heads, nails to cover our fingers. And don’t forget the spooky skeletons hiding inside each one of us, made up of 206 bones!
But human beings are more than bodies – we aren’t just machines made up of meat. God’s Word teaches that there’s another part of us, an invisible, inside part that makes us… us. The Bible uses a couple of different words to describe this special bit of us. Sometimes it’s called a “soul.” Other times, the Bible uses the word “spirit.” And in some places, we see the phrase “inner being.”
Back in question 6, we learned that a spirit is invisible. But if we can’t see our souls or spirits, how can we be sure they actually exist? Because our God-breathed Bibles tell us so! Ecclesiastes 12:7 describes what happens when a person dies. It says, “And the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” This verse describes the two parts of a human: our bodies (which God made from dust) and our spirits (which we also call “souls”).
When God made our first father, Adam, he formed him from the dust of the ground. And when we die, our bodies decay and break down back into the dust we were made from. But that’s not true of our souls. They aren’t made up of stuff like skin and bone. They can’t decay back into bits of dust. They can’t be blown up or chopped into little pieces. In fact, they can’t be killed at all!
Our soul is the part of us that can never, ever die. Why is that important? Because it means that death isn’t the end for us. God designed human beings to live forever. For those of us who believe the good news of Jesus, that forever life will be with him in his good kingdom! And in that kingdom, our imperishable (unable to die) souls will be given brand-new imperishable bodies to match!